Religious Studies 3

  • Created by: Toni
  • Created on: 29-03-13 21:45

Peace and Conflict

Aggression - attacking without being provoked

Conflict Resolution - bringing a fight or struggle to a peaceful conclusion,

Exploitation - taking advantage of a weaker group,

Forgiveness - stopping blaming someone and/or pardoning them for what they have done

Just War - a war which is fought for the right reasons and in a right way

Pacifism - belief that all disputes should be settled by peaceful means,

Reconciliation - bringing people together who were opposed to each other,

The United Nations - an international body set to promote world peace and cooperation,

Nuclear weapons - weapons based on atomic fission or fusion

Weapons of mass destruction - non-nuclear weapons which can destroy large areas

World Peace - the ending of war throughout the whole world

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Peace and Conflict

United Nations & World Peace

Through the security council, the UN can recommend action to stop any threats to world peace by:

  • Imposing sanctions on countries threatening world peace - for example, banning trade, banning cultural links, banning communications etc...
  • Authorising the use of force by member states to stop an aggressor,
  • Sending a UN peacekeeping force to;

                    - prevent the outbreak of conflict or the spill-over of conflict across borders,

                    - stabilise conflict situations after a ceasefire and create an environment for                        the parties to reach a lasting peace agreement

                    - assist in putting peace agreements into practice,

                    - lead states or territories to stable government based on democratic                                 principles and economic development, after they have been in conflict

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Peace and Conflict

How religious organisations try to promote world peace

  • Organise public debates on the horror of war and encourage followers to vote for parties opposed to war,
  • Organise anti-war protests and try to change the public opinion e.g. Iraq war and Darfur conflict,
  • Attend inter faith conferences to help all religions work together to promote world peace. Conflit happens between religions,
  • Work for economic justice and global recognition of human rights to remove the causes of war. Improving people's standard of living removes lots of causes of war e.g. through the work of Christian Aid and Muslim Aid,
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Peace and Conflict

Why wars occur

Religion: one country might think another country is treating followers of their religion badly and invade e.g. Derbs invaded Kosovo because they believe that Muslims are treating Christians badly.

Nationalism and Ethnicity: some believe each ethnic group have its own country because it has a different culture. Ethnicity minority groups fight civil wars to get their own independent state e.g. the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

Economics: wars can occur if one country has resources that another country wants. Some people believe that Iraq was invaded because the West wanted to make sure it would have access to its enormous oil reserves.

Ideological and Political Differences: the Korean War of 1949 saw North Korea invade South Korea as it wanted to unite the country under communism. A truce was called in 1953 after the UN fought a war against North Korea and China. There is still no official peace.

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Peace and Conflict

The Nature and Importance of the theory of Just War

  • The Just War theory was created by Augustine and developed by Thomas Aquinas - The war must be fought for a Just cause. There has to be a just or moral reason such as defending a nation under attack or stopping tyranny.
  • The war must be fought by the proper authority of a government or the UN. The politicians must make the most important decisions.
  • A war can be fought if the intention is to restore peace and preventing evil. Most people aruge that Britain and her allies, by taking on the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, prevented greater evil from happening.
  • A war is just if it is begun as the Last Resort, all non violent means of solving the conflict must have been tried and failed before you turn to war.
  • There must be a reasonable chance of success. You cannot go to war and waste the lives of brave soldiers for something which you have very little chance of winning.
  • There must be controlled violence. Every effect must be made to make sure that as little violence as possible is used to achieve victory.
  • The force used in the war must be proportional to the cause. It would not be proportional to drop a nuclear weapon on a small country for invading a small island.
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Peace and Conflict

Christian Attitudes to War

  • Many Christians believe that they can fight in a Just war,
  • Jesus never condemned the soldiers he met and actually condemned the faith of the Roman Centurion,
  • When Jesus was asked about paying taxes he said "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's" which means its acceptable to fight in a war justified by the government,
  • St Paul taught people to obey their leaders who have been given that power by God,
  • Sometimes war is a necessary evil,
  • Sometimes it is wrong to remain peaceful because of the suffering and evil,


  • War destroys the environment, it kills people and defies the law of stewardship,
  • The teachings of Jesus about turning the other cheek and loving your enemy,
  • Jesus did not allow violence when arrested,
  • Jesus stopped Peter from using violence when soldiers arrested him,
  • "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called Children of God".
  • Pacifists believe in the sanctity of life
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Peace and Conflict

Islam Attitudes to War

Jihad - to struggle in the way of Allah

Lesser Jihad:

  • allow civilians to live their normal lives,
  • prisoners of war should be well treated,
  • if the enemy wants peace, the Muslim should also seek peace,
  • it must be started by a religious leader,
  • it is a last resort,
  • war is declared in attack,
  • effort was made to protect innocent life,
  • Muslims are not being allowed to practice religion,
  • "attack anyone to the same extent that they attack you"
  • Muslims are ordered by God to fight back when under attack - one man in two should fight; Muslims must not run away on the battlefield; if a town is attacked, every person must fight,
  • Muhammad is a great example of how Muslims should live their lives
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Peace and Conflict

Christian Attitudes to Bullying

Bullying - intimidating/frightening people weaker than yourself

  • Attacking others without a just cause is sinful,
  • Humans are the creation of God, bullying is mistreating God's creation,
  • It is the duty of religious people to protect the weak and innocent - the good samaritan,
  • Bullying goes against people's human rights and Christians are taught to protect human rights. As such they are against bullying,
  • Love your neighbour
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Peace and Conflict

Islam Attitudes to Bullying

  • Islamic society based on law and respect, bullying has no respect,
  • It is the duty of Muslims to protect the weak and innocent, bullying does not fit with this,
  • Muhammad said "Every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim". Brothers do not bully each other so Muslims should not bully anybody,
  • The Qu'ran is the Divine Book revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and so they should so do what it says,
  • If a Muslim bullies a person they are acting against the Ummah (community)
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Peace and Conflict

Religious Conflicts within Families

  • Children no longer wanting to take part in their parent's religion - religions tell parents it is their duty to bring their children up in the faith; parents may feel like failures if children turn from their religion; parents may worry their children will not be with them in the afterlife because they have left the faith; religious parents may worry that their children will become immoral without guidance of religion.
  • Children wanting to marry a partner from a different religion - cant be a religious ceremony the couple must be members of the same religion for a religious wedding to take place; there is a question of which religion the children will be brought up in; there is worry what will happen after death; there is often a feeling of betrayal of family roots by falling in love with someone from a different religion.
  • Children becoming more religious than their parents - children may start to criticise their parents which can lead to arguments; parents may be upset if the child wants to be a priest as they will be denied the chance to be grandparents (priests are celibate); may criticise Muslim parents who sell alcohol or a Catholic parent who uses contraception.
  • Disagreements over moral issues - arguments can be caused if someone makes a decision that goes against the beliefs of the family - getting divorced/abortion.
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Peace and Conflict

Christian Attitudes on Forgiveness and Reconciliation

  • Christianity is based on the concept of forgiveness and reconciliation,
  • Jesus died on the cross to bring forgiveness and reconciliation,
  • When Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive his brother up to seven times, Jesus told him to forgive 77x7 times,
  • Jesus said if people do not forgive those who have sinned against them, God will not forgive their sins,
  • St Paul said Christians should try to live in peace with everyone,

However some Christianns believe that they could forgive but not reconcile if the issue is to do with their religion or morals.

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Peace and Conflict

Islam Attitudes on Forgiveness and Reconciliation

  • The Qu'ran says that Muslims should forgive other people's sins against them,
  • Muslims should always obey the Qu'ran as they believe it is the word of Allah,
  • There are many hadith from the Prophet Muhammad about forgiving people who have offended others and bringing reconciliation to conflicts,
  • Muslims believe they should follow the example of the Prophet,
  • On the Day of Judgement, Allah will deal with everyone as they deserve, but Muslims will be able to request his mercy
  • Allah is compassionate and merciful to sinners
  • Muslims should be merciful and forgiving to those who cause them offence,
  • "A kind word with forgiveness is better than charity followed by injury"

Nevertheless, Muslims should not forgive those who are working against Islam, or those who are denying Muslim principles.

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